Skip to main content

An introduction to computer systems, networking and security in computer science - remote

CP438 Live remote training course

Learn about the different components of computer hardware, including devices not instantly recognisable as computers.

Skip to course booking
Computer networks Computer systems Safety & Security Key stage 4 KS3 and GCSE subject knowledge certificate
Live remote training course 6 hours

  • Live remote training 16 July 09:00—16 July 2024
  • Live remote training 20 September 09:30—20 September 2024
  • Live remote training 23 September 15:30—30 September 2024
  • Live remote training 9 October 09:30—9 October 2024
  • Live remote training 23 October 09:30—23 October 2024
  • Live remote training 13 November 15:30—20 November 2024
  • Live remote training 22 November 09:00—22 November 2024
  • Live remote training 7 April 09:30—7 April 2025

Take your first steps towards teaching GCSE computer science and establish a foundational knowledge base of concepts, terminology and classroom practice. Find out how the components of computer systems interlink and how these can then be connected together to form a network.

Learn about the different components of computer hardware, including devices not instantly recognisable as computers. The key components for input, processing, storage and output will be covered, and you’ll learn about the binary data that flows around and between computers.

Whether in your home or school, computing devices are increasingly networked. You’ll learn to recognise the technologies used to connect machines and to share data, and begin to find out how computers can communicate with each other seamlessly. You’ll also deepen your knowledge of some of the security risks that are commonly heard about in the daily news, which your students need to be aware of to be safe and responsible web citizens.

Recommended next steps:

This introductory course helps novice computer science teachers access the Key stage 3 and GCSE Computer Science certificate. It is strongly recommended that its counterpart course An introduction to algorithms, programming and data in GCSE computer science is also attended before progressing further into the programme.

Who is it for?

This course is for prospective teachers of Key Stage 3 computing and GCSE computer science, who may be new to the subject. 

No prior experience or knowledge of computer science is expected before attending this course. It is advised that you become familiar with the National Curriculum in Computing before participating in this course.

Topics covered

01 | Computer systems - here you’ll learn about the breadth of hardware devices many of which will be familiar, such as keyboards, monitors and printers. You’ll understand how computers store, process and transmit data and the essential roles of the central processing unit and computer memory. Terms like ‘8 bit’, ‘500 gigabyte drive’ or ‘megabit broadband’ are in common usage – this session explains these terms and more.

02 | Hardware - further develop your understanding of key hardware components by learning how they function together.

03 | Memory - Computers need to memorise data, during this session you'll explore how computer systems use different types of memory including cache memory, RAM and ROM.  

04 | Networks - in the modern era almost all computers are part of a network. You’ll learn the essentials of how, and why, computers are networked locally, or globally through the internet. You’ll also find out about everyday internet services such as email and the worldwide web.

05 | Protocols - learn how network protocols are used to communicate over a network.

06 | Cyber-security - networks bring risks as well as benefits. This session will demystify some internet dangers such as phishing, viruses and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks

How long is this course?

This course is approximately six hours in duration, split across multiple sessions.

How will you learn?

Scheduled live, interactive online sessions led by an experienced practitioner.

Flexible Professional Development Leader-supported, participant-led tasks, involving deep exploration of the subject content.


You will:

  • Learn how data is inputted into a computer, how it is processed, stored and output in a useful form
  • Recognise the terminology used to describe data storage and transmission, ironing out common misconceptions
  • Develop a basic understanding of local and global computer networks
  • Become knowledgeable and confident in using common cybersecurity terms
  • Learn engaging ways to bring these topics to the classroom

This course is part of the KS3 and GCSE Computer Science subject knowledge certificate

Key stage 3 and GCSE Computer Science certificate

Our certificate is designed to help you develop or refresh your computer science subject knowledge.

Find out more

Book this course

You need to be logged in to start the course.

Login to book this course

Create STEM Learning account

This course is from the National Centre for Computing Education and is delivered by STEM Learning.

Adapted teaching and effective learning interventions in secondary computing

Develop an evidence-informed approach to education recovery over a sustained period, securing the computing education of young people following a period of great disruption.

Live remote training course

Adapting the Teach Computing Curriculum for mixed-year classes - short course

Explore progression within Teach Computing Curriculum and how to use this to adapt it for your own mixed-age setting.

Live remote training course

AI in primary computing

Explore how Artificial Intelligence (AI) may be linked to aspects of the primary computing curriculum, supporting creativity, digital literacy, and the use of information technology.

Live remote training course